Despite progress with the food-associated health agenda in the public health and clinical domains, much remains to be done in Indonesia. There are reasons to be optimistic which include economic development, increasing literacy, progress towards universal health coverage and community organizational arrangements across the archipelago which focus on health through some 10,000 puskesmas. These community health centres are variably staffed with voluntary cadres from the community, bidans (nurses) and general medical practitioners. For more effective prevention and management of nutritionally-related health problems, innovative community and clinical nutrition research and expertise is required. With rapid urbanisation, the growth of the digital economy, increasing socio-economic inequity and climate change, there are imperatives for ecologically sustainable, nonemployment dependent livelihoods which provide energy, food, water, education and health care security. A relevant health care workforce will include those who research and practice clinical nutrition. Here we gather together an account of an extensive body of published and emerging literature which makes a case collectively for a more ecological approach to nutrition and health and how it might revitalise the Indonesian and other health care systems.